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Comment Company Store (Score 1) 571

The only thing that concerned me in the article is that Uber is leasing the car. Uber should not be running a company store. That creates debt slavery.

If the self-employed want to get a jump on their competition by sleeping in their cars, that's their choice. If you don't want the low-skill self-employed life where you work your tail off, work a low-skill 9 to 5 job instead.

Comment Re:two things I use Google's assistant for (Score 1) 72

You're not using "Google Voice VoIP" because that doesn't exist. You're using Google Talk/Hangouts/whatever it's called today. The relationship between the two is that GV can route calls to Google Talk, and Google Talk will use your GV number when making outgoing calls.

So, as this is a story about Google Voice, not Google Talk (or Hangouts etc) you can safely assume your setup is not affected by this at all. That doesn't mean it'll continue to work, just that this doesn't impact it.

Comment Re:How about running real Linux apps too (Score 1) 69

I wouldn't say they're simple steps, and Crouton suffers from trying to run both operating systems at once, which can only be done by heavily patching the "guest" operating system, which in turn means only supported revisions of specific distributions are supported - and the only in some configurations. Want to run Cinnamon? Don't even try.

(There's also very little reason to suppose this provides any real benefits to users either. Why would you want ChromeOS if you're already running Ubuntu? ChromeOS is bare bones GNU/Linux with Chrome as the UI, and Chrome runs fine under Ubuntu.)

Crouton exists mostly because it's awkward to install a "real" Ubuntu instance on a Chromebook, and so the authors figured that maybe getting bits to Ubuntu to work under the already running ChromeOS kernel might be "good enough". It's an illustration of the problems with Chromebooks, not indicative that Google has some kind of solution to "Linux on the desktop".

I'm not saying Chromebooks are bad, or even that you shouldn't buy one to run Ubuntu/etc (but use chrx, and be aware that the experience of installation is suboptimal, requiring BIOS patches and barely documented control key combinations at boot) - they can run more open distributions of GNU/Linux, and if you like the hardware, then go for it. But this "Crouton proves its awesome" stuff is overblown. Crouton is a smart, interesting, hack to workaround a problem, but it's probably not going to deliver what the average "I want to run Fedora/Ubuntu/Mint/Debian/CentOS" Slashdot GNU/Linux user wants.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 69

I'm generally finding little difference in price between Chromebooks and low end Windows laptops - compare HP's "Stream" series, for example.

It's also a lot simpler to install Ubuntu et al on a cheap laptop built for Windows than on a Chromebook. I've done the latter, and it's an, uh, interesting experience. Having to patch the BIOS was my favorite part I think. Also awesome was the fact it forgets there's a partition with a non-ChromeOS operating system on it if the battery runs out, so you have to boot into ChromeOS and set a flag to remind it its there.

Comment Re:more open (Score 3, Interesting) 211

Yeah, last few devices I've bought had something very close to AOSP with only a minimum of extra apps installed, apps that aren't causing me any problems. Android itself doesn't vary a lot between versions any more, the chances are the version you have varies little - from a user's point of view - from the latest greatest. This is a far cry from the early days of Android where:

1. Every phone had a heavily customized version of Android, in part because stock Android wasn't very pretty, but those customizations were usually horrible and bug ridden. As an example, my T-Mobile Slide 3G's dialer would crash if you changed from portrait to landscape.

2. Android itself was barely feature complete. Third party tools were needed to provide a decent launcher, decent keyboard, and so on, as well as tethering and other features carriers were nervous about.

It just isn't as important any more.

Comment Re:May I suggest ... (Score 1) 70

That's pretty expensive. There may be some prepaid plans that are worse ($30 for 1Gb+unlimited V&T is probably hard to beat), but once you get to the regular subscriptions from the big four, especially family plans, it's really poor value.

I was always surprised Google structured Fi that way, it struck me that building a phone service around a price schedule is doomed to failure. Sooner or later everyone else changes their prices (or what you get for those prices) and suddenly your innovative pricing doesn't look so great any more.

Submission + - GMail app update blocking non-GMail servers

ukoda writes: Given the GMail Android app is bundled with most Android phone and has offered support for email accounts with other service providers it has become a popular email client. However sometime in November last year Google updated their app to silently reject self-signed certificates. For users of servers with self-signed certificates their email stopped coming in. Refreshing the inbox appears to go normally with no problems reported. From this support thread it is apparent that server connections are being rejected with the warning "Certificate Not Valid" even when the "All Certificates" option is chosen. The explanation from Google is they are improving security but for some users that had a working secure connection they now have to either stay with GMail, and turn off encryption, or move to a new app such as K9 or BlueMail. The lack of meaningful responses from Google leave little hope of things improving anytime soon.

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